Quake commission calls for tougher building standards

10:14 pm on 23 August 2012

The Government has accepted all 70 recommendations made by the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission.

The commission on Thursday released the first part of its final report into quakes in the region, including the 6.3 magnitude tremor that killed 185 people and caused severe damage in Christchurch

in February last year.

The inquiry began in May 2011 and the commission will report on the causes of building failure due to the quakes, and the legal and best-practice requirements for buildings in New Zealand central business districts.

The report calls for tougher standards for concrete structures and structural steel.

The Government says the report will influence design and construction - not just in Canterbury, but throughout New Zealand.

Dave Kelly, the director of Canterbury recovery for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, says work has already begun on many of the recommendations.

"What's clear is they're saying rather than a change of direction, we need to have incremental improvements.

"So this is an important stock-take - where are we at, what are those things that didn't perform as well as we thought they should do, and what do we need to focus on."